Monday, February 17, 2014

Zoobean's New Digital Service for Families

I want to start off the week by giving la bienvenida to MommyMaestra's newest sponsor, Zoobean. This company is the perfect example of the ingenuity of moms like us, who understand the needs of parents in our modern times.

If you haven't heard of it, Zoobean is a service that provides custom-curated books and apps that are hand-picked specifically for your child. When you subscribe to their service you give your child's age, then you choose their reading level, and the types of books that interest him or her. Zoobean is best known for delivering carefully chosen hardback or paperback books to your home (more about that later), but they've recently expanded to offer a new digital service for families.

The digital subscriptions send weekly book and app recommendations to your email address. Their email includes a title recommended specifically for your child based on his or her interests (that you selected during the sign up process), as well as a reading guide to accompany the book. Their email also tells you who at Zoobean chose the book. (I really love this personal touch.) App recommendations are linked to the Apple App Store and Amazon for Android.

I received subscriptions for my two kids to review here on MommyMaestra. My subscription began this past week when I received separate emails for them both. My son's book recommendation was "The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau" by Dan Yaccarino. I honestly did not even know this book existed. But I was sold from the moment I read the title and a quick glance at the reading guide convinced me to head right over to Amazon to buy the Kindle version.

(I have to tell you up front that while I am a big - BIG - champion of literacy and reading, I have to admit that I prefer paper books and have not used digital books very much with my kids. That's mostly due to the fact that I felt they were too young to branch into that digital space and I wanted to make sure and develop their love of a good hardback or paperback first. This has been accomplished, so after thinking long and hard about it, I'm slowly venturing into eBooks with my kids for school projects. We've used them before, but only here and there.)

Anyway, the point is that I could have easily just ordered the paperback or hardback version of the book, and if you sign up, you certainly can do that too. Or even borrow the title from your local library. But I was impatient, and I thought this would be a good start to using eBooks in our homeschool lessons.

My son was, of course, delighted to read the biography. Actually, my daughter was too. So we did. And I was able to use the reading guide that Zoobean provided to discuss the illustrations, new vocabulary, and monitor my children's reading comprehension. But the best part was the activity included at the end of the guide. Check out our little creation:

So if you are looking for a personalized reading experience for your children, I highly recommend Zoobean. With SO MANY children's titles available today, I really love it when someone else does the legwork for me, researching the titles and then suggesting ones that my children will like. It saves me time and narrows down my choices.

But you don't have to take my word for it. You can sign up for a FREE TRIAL and try it yourself!

Disclosure: Zoobean is a sponsor of this website. However, all opinions are strictly my own. 


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